Sunday, March 27, 2011

On the sculpture trail: meet Philo Farnsworth, the “inventor of television,“ in San Francisco

This sculpture of Philo Tayler Farnsworth (1906-1971) is located in the Presidio of San Francisco, California. The sculpture can be found in the park area next to the Letterman Digital Arts Center. Coming from the Marina district, just continue on Lombard Street into the Presidio and look to your right. The picture includes the Palace of Fine Arts Exploratorium in the background.

A plaque describes Philo T. Farnsworth as the “inventor of television.” He holds a video camera tube (cathode ray tube)—a sculptured version—in his right hand. A “TV set” is standing to his left. Phil is connected with San Francisco through the tinkering, research and technology he pursuited in his laboratory at the bottom of Telegraph Hill at the corner of Green and Sansome Streets [1]: On September 7, 1927, he and his “Lab Gang” succeeded in transmitting a blurry image of line. In the following years they advanced in sending further signals and shapes.

Thus was shaped the way in which our grandparents were and how we are (although mostly on flat screens now) seeing and experiencing the world: tsunamis of information and ever faster waves of manipulation. The greens and landmark spots of the Presidio make a perfect landscape/cityscape to meditate on history and to re-invent or enhance your own vision.

References and more
[1] Susan Saperstein:
Philo Farnsworth and Green Street [].
[2] Ingrid Taylar:
Letterman Digital Arts Center at the Presidio [].
Philo T. Farnsworth (1906-1071), Electronic television [].

No comments: